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Press Release -- May 1st, 2020
Source: nok

Nokia Corporation Interim Report for Q1

Nokia Corporation
Interim report
April 30, 2020 at 08:00 (CET +1)

Nokia Corporation Interim Report for Q1

Improved margins as transformation and product cost reduction efforts take hold

  • Confidence in resilient customer base and strong liquidity position
  • 5G deal momentum continues, with 70 commercial deals and 21 live networks
  • Strong growth in Nokia Software and Nokia Enterprise
  • Within previously provided Outlook ranges for full year 2020, adjusted the non-IFRS mid-points for EPS to EUR 0.23 and operating margin to 9.0%
  • Majority of COVID-19 impact expected in Q2; continue to expect a seasonally strong second half

This is a summary of the Nokia Corporation interim report for Q1 2020 published today. The complete interim report for Q1 2020 with tables is available at Investors should not rely on summaries of our financial reports only, but should review the complete financial reports with tables.


Nokia’s solid first quarter results showed broad year-on-year profitability improvements as our transformation and product cost reduction efforts started to take hold. On a year-on-year basis, group-level non-IFRS operating margin was up by 3.6 percentage points; Networks gross margin increased by 3.5 percentage points; Nokia Software had an excellent quarter with sharp margin improvements and strong momentum with customers in North America; and, Nokia Enterprise delivered double-digit sales growth.

As I noted last quarter, we continue to have a sharp focus on Mobile Access and cash generation and saw good progress in both areas in the first quarter. “5G powered by ReefShark” shipments continue to increase and product cost reductions are proceeding well. We also announced some leading new solutions in the quarter, including a unique approach to dynamic spectrum sharing that is in test mode with select major customers today, and is expected to be available in volume over the summer, in line with the availability of DSS-capable mobile devices. On the services side, ongoing execution improvements drove improved year-on-year profitability. We also enhanced our total cash position to €6.3 billion, while net cash showed an expected seasonal decline to €1.3 billion.

These improvements are, of course, coming at a time of unprecedented change, given the impact of COVID-19. Our top focus areas are protecting our employees, maintaining critical network infrastructure for customers, and ensuring we have a strong cash position. In Q1, we saw a top line impact from COVID-19 issues of approximately €200 million, largely the result of supply issues associated with disruptions in China.

We are adjusting the mid-points within our previously disclosed Outlook ranges for full-year 2020 to reflect the increased risks and uncertainty presented by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We expect the majority of this COVID-19 impact to be in Q2 and believe that our industry is fairly resilient to the crisis, although not immune.

We did not see a decline in demand in the first quarter. As the COVID-19 situation develops, however, an increase in supply and delivery challenges in a number of countries is possible and some customers may reassess their spending plans. Pleasingly, despite the majority of our R&D employees working from home, we have not seen any impact on our roadmaps, and, in fact, some key software releases are proceeding ahead of schedule. Additionally, we saw a massive increase in network capacity demands.

In close, Nokia’s vision of creating the technology to connect the world has never been more important than today. I want to thank our employees for their incredible resilience, ongoing support for each other whilst working from home, and their commitment to continued delivery of critical networks during this time. Equally, I want to thank our customers, suppliers, communities and the entire Nokia extended “family” for their ongoing support.


EUR million (except for EPS in EUR) Q1’20 Q1’19 YoY change Constant currency YoY change
Net sales 4 913 5 032 (2)% (3)%
  Networks 3 757 3 944 (5)% (6)%
  Nokia Software 613 543 13% 12%
  Nokia Technologies 347 370 (6)% (7)%
  Group Common and Other 205 220 (7)% (8)%
  Non-IFRS exclusions (1) (25)
  Eliminations (9) (20)
Gross profit 1 778 1 580 13%  
Operating (loss)/profit (76) (524)
  Networks (81) (254)  
  Nokia Software 70 (7)  
  Nokia Technologies 290 302 (4)%  
  Group Common and Other (164) (100)
  Non-IFRS exclusions (192) (464)
Operating margin % (1.5)% (10.4)% 890bps  
Net sales (non-IFRS) 4 914 5 057 (3)% (4)%
Gross profit (non-IFRS) 1 787 1 641 9%  
Operating profit/(loss) (non-IFRS) 116 (59)    
Operating margin % (non-IFRS) 2.4% (1.2)% 360bps  
Financial income and expenses (50) (55) (9)%
Income taxes 30 142
Profit/(loss) for the period (100) (442)
EPS, diluted (0.02) (0.08)
Financial income and expenses (non-IFRS) (66) (93) (29)%  
Income taxes (non-IFRS) (12) 41    
Profit/(loss) for the period (non-IFRS) 33 (116)    
EPS, diluted (non-IFRS) 0.01 (0.02)    
Results are as reported and relate to continuing operations unless otherwise specified. The financial information in this report is unaudited. Non-IFRS results exclude costs related to the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent and related integration, goodwill impairment charges, intangible asset amortization and other purchase price fair value adjustments, restructuring and associated charges and certain other items that may not be indicative of Nokia’s underlying business performance. For details, please refer to note 2, “Non-IFRS to reported reconciliation”, in the notes to the Financial statement information included in Nokia Corporation interim report for Q1 2020. Change in net sales at constant currency excludes the effect of changes in exchange rates in comparison to euro, our reporting currency. For more information on currency exposures, please refer to note 1, “Basis of Preparation”, in the “Financial statement information” section included in Nokia Corporation interim report for Q1 2020.
  • Non-IFRS net sales in Q1 2020 were EUR 4.9bn, compared to EUR 5.1bn in Q1 2019. Reported net sales in Q1 2020 were EUR 4.9bn, compared to EUR 5.0bn in Q1 2019. On a constant currency basis, non-IFRS net sales decreased 4% and reported net sales decreased 3%. Excluding one-time licensing net sales in Q1 2020 and Q1 2019, net sales decreased 2% on both a non-IFRS and reported basis. This reflected good operational performance and the competitiveness of our offerings, given the negative impact of COVID-19 on the overall market environment. We estimate that COVID-19 had an approximately EUR 200 million negative impact on our Q1 2020 net sales, primarily due to supply chain challenges; with these net sales expected to be shifted to future periods, rather than being lost.
  • Non-IFRS diluted EPS in Q1 2020 was EUR 0.01, compared to negative EUR 0.02 in Q1 2019, primarily driven by higher gross profit in Mobile Access within Networks and Nokia Software, continued progress related to our cost savings program and a net positive fluctuation in financial income and expenses. This was partially offset by higher investments in 5G R&D to accelerate our product roadmaps and cost competitiveness in Mobile Access, income taxes and a net negative fluctuation in Nokia’s venture fund investments.
  • Reported diluted EPS in Q1 2020 was negative EUR 0.02, compared to negative EUR 0.08 in Q1 2019, primarily driven by higher gross profit in Mobile Access within Networks and Nokia Software, lower amortization of acquired intangible assets and our continued progress related to our cost savings program. This was partially offset by higher investments in 5G R&D to accelerate our product roadmaps and cost competitiveness in Mobile Access, income taxes and a net negative fluctuation in Nokia’s venture fund investments.
  • In Q1 2020, net cash and current financial investments (“net cash”) decreased sequentially by approximately EUR 0.4 billion, resulting in a net cash balance of approximately EUR 1.3 billion. Total cash and current financial investments (“total cash”) increased sequentially by EUR 0.3 billion, resulting in a total cash balance of approximately EUR 6.3 billion. This reflected strong cash performance in Q1 2020, which is a seasonally weak quarter. During Q1, we prudently strengthened our liquidity position by drawing on the EUR 500 million facility we had signed with European Investment Bank in 2018. Additionally, we have a EUR 1.5 billion revolving credit facility that has not been drawn upon to date, and we continue to explore prudent opportunities to further strengthen our liquidity.


The COVID-19 crisis has made vividly clear the critical importance of connectivity to keep society functioning. We feel a sense of duty to our customers and the communities they serve to keep vital communication networks running and accommodate expanded needs as usage reaches unprecedented levels.

We are continuing to advance our 5G roadmap and product evolution, as planned, and our COVID-19 mitigation actions in R&D have been very successful. We believe we remain on track with our plans to drive progressive improvement over the course of 2020.

Health and safety

Naturally, Nokia’s first focus during the COVID-19 crisis is to our employees. We are working around the clock to keep our people safe. We have put in place strict protocols for Nokia facilities and provided clear advice to our employees about how they can mitigate the risks of COVID-19 in situations where they have to go about critical work.

To date we have taken a range of steps, including banning international travel for Nokia employees, except for strictly-defined ‘critical’ reasons; closing all our facilities to all visitors, with the exception of people engaged in essential maintenance and services, and asking our staff to work from home wherever possible. We started implementing these measures in some regions in January already and have updated guidance as the situation has developed.

Other actions include enhanced building hygiene measures across our facilities, and clear advice on how staff can mitigate risks by maintaining good personal hygiene. We are also providing guidance on how staff can maintain a healthy work-life balance and look after their physical and mental well-being.

To protect the health and safety of our employees, shareholders and other stakeholders, Nokia’s Board of Directors resolved to cancel the Annual General Meeting initially scheduled to be held on April 8, 2020. The Board has subsequently convened a new AGM under a temporary Finnish COVID-19 legislation to be held on May 27, 2020 without shareholders attending the meeting in person.

Supporting the essential services our customers provide

The products and services that we provide have never been more critical in enabling the world to continue to function in an orderly way. We are providing the capacity and continuity to vital medical, social and financial systems that are experiencing extreme stress. We continue to work closely with all our customers, to ensure that the changing needs and requirements at this time are well understood and that we respond appropriately to them.

Telecom infrastructure is an essential service in most jurisdictions. Most networks see 30 to 45 percent traffic volume growth over a year, but in just one month – from mid-February to mid-March – Nokia saw a 20 to 40 percent peak increase in lockdown-impacted regions through our operator customer base. We are working with our customers to provide real-time and granular information about their networks and enabling them to meet increases in demand and expand capacity where needed.

Nokia has a global manufacturing footprint designed for optimized global supply, and to mitigate against risks such as local disruptive events, transportation capacity problems, and political risks. Our supply network consists of 25 factories around the globe and six hubs for customer fulfillment. As a result, we are not dependent on one location or entity. We have also established a global command center to manage the supply chain challenges arising from the outbreak; and we are ready to activate relevant business continuity plans should the situation in any part of our organization require this.

Doing our part to fight the pandemic

We also feel another sense of duty – to the societies where Nokia operates. As a global company, we have a duty to be part of the global fight against this pandemic. Therefore, Nokia has launched a Coronavirus Global Donation Fund.

This fund is intended to support charities, hospitals, health clinics, and other frontline non-governmental organizations who are leading the fight against COVID-19 and trying to mitigate its effect on communities. Financial assistance will be targeted to where it is most needed in countries across the world. Country-specific donations will be made to grassroots organizations from healthcare to childcare, to elderly rehabilitation, to community support services.

These actions demonstrate our strong commitment to supporting global efforts to end the pandemic and overcoming the disruption and challenges we currently face.


Full Year 2020

Non-IFRS diluted earnings per share EUR 0.23 (adjusted from EUR 0.25) plus or minus 5 cents
Non-IFRS operating margin 9.0% (adjusted from 9.5%) plus or minus 1.5 percentage points
Recurring free cash flow1 Positive

Long term (3 to 5 years)

Non-IFRS operating margin 12 – 14%
Annual distribution to shareholders An earnings-based growing dividend of approximately 40% to 70% of non-IFRS diluted EPS, taking into account Nokia’s cash position and expected cash flow generation. The annual distribution would be paid as quarterly dividends.

1   Free cash flow = net cash from operating activities – capital expenditures + proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets – purchase of non-current financial investments + proceeds from sale of non-current financial investments.


Networks and Nokia Software are expected to be influenced by factors including:

  • Our expectation that we will perform approximately in-line with our primary addressable market, which is expected to decline on a constant currency basis in full year 2020, excluding China (This change is primarily due to the COVID-19 impact we expect in Q2 and is an update to earlier commentary for our primary addressable market to be flat, excluding China). We have decided to exclude China, given that pursuing market share in China presents significant profitability challenges and the region has some unique market dynamics;
  • Our expectation for seasonality in 2020 to be similar to 2019, with the exception of Q2, during which we expect to see the majority of the COVID-19 impact. As in 2019, we expect the majority of operating profit and free cash flow to be generated in the fourth quarter (This is an update to earlier commentary for seasonality in 2020 to be similar to 2019, with the majority of operating profit and free cash flow to be generated in the fourth quarter);
  • Potential risks and uncertainties related to the scope and duration of the COVID-19 impact and the pace and shape of the economic recovery following the pandemic (This is an update to earlier commentary for a temporary disruption, particularly in our supply chain, due to the coronavirus outbreak);
  • Competitive intensity, which is particularly impacting Mobile Access and is expected to continue at a high level in full year 2020, as some competitors seek to take share in the early stage of 5G;
  • Our expectation that we will accelerate our product roadmaps and cost competitiveness through additional 5G investments in 2020, thereby enabling us to drive product cost reductions and maintain the necessary scale to be competitive;
  • Our expectation that we will drive improvements in automation and productivity through additional digitalization investments in 2020;
  • Customer demand could weaken and risk could increase further in India, after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that telecoms companies must pay retroactive license and spectrum fees;
  • Opportunities and risks in North America following the completion of a merger, and, more broadly, the potential for temporary capital expenditure constraints due to potential mergers or acquisitions by our customers (This is an update to earlier commentary for temporary capital expenditure constraints in North America related to customer merger activity, as well as other potential mergers or acquisitions by our customers);
  • The timing of completions and acceptances of certain projects;
  • Some customers are reassessing their vendors in light of security concerns, creating near-term pressure to invest in order to secure long-term benefits;
  • Our expectation that we will improve our R&D productivity and reduce support function costs through the successful execution of our cost savings program, which is explained in more detail in the Cost savings program section of this report;
  • Our product and regional mix, including the impact of the high cost level associated with our first generation 5G products; and
  • Macroeconomic, industry and competitive dynamics.

Nokia Technologies is expected to be influenced by factors including:

  • The timing and value of new and existing patent licensing agreements with smartphone vendors, automotive companies and consumer electronics companies;
  • Results in brand and technology licensing;
  • Costs to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights; and
  • The regulatory landscape.

Additionally, our outlook is based on the following assumptions:

  • Nokia’s outlook for positive recurring free cash flow is expected to be supported by an improvement in net working capital performance and improved operational results, partially offset by a more substantial difference in 2020 between profit and free cash flow in Nokia Technologies;
  • Non-IFRS financial income and expenses are expected to be an expense of approximately EUR 350 million in full year 2020 and per annum over the longer-term;
  • Non-IFRS income taxes are expected at a rate of approximately 26% in full year 2020 and approximately 25% over the longer-term, subject to the absolute level of profits, regional profit mix and changes to our operating model;
  • Cash outflows related to income taxes are expected to be approximately EUR 450 million in full year 2020 and per annum over the longer term until our US or Finnish deferred tax assets are fully utilized; and
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately EUR 600 million in full year 2020 and per annum over the longer-term.

Nokia’s analyst conference call will begin on April 30, 2020 at 3 p.m. Finnish time. A link to the webcast of the conference call will be available at Media representatives can listen in via the link, or call +1 412 317 5210.

Media Inquiries:
Nokia Communications
Tel. +358 10 448 4900
Katja Antila, Head of Media Relations

Investor Inquiries:
Nokia Investor Relations
Tel. +358 40 803 4080

About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online and follow us on Twitter @nokia.


It should be noted that Nokia and its businesses are exposed to various risks and uncertainties and certain statements herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect Nokia’s current expectations and views of future developments and include statements regarding: A) expectations, plans or benefits related to our strategies, growth management and operational key performance indicators; B) expectations, plans or benefits related to future performance of our businesses and any expected future dividends including timing and qualitative and quantitative thresholds associated therewith; C) expectations and targets regarding financial performance, cash generation, results, the timing of receivables, operating expenses, taxes, currency exchange rates, hedging, cost savings, product cost reductions and competitiveness, as well as results of operations including targeted synergies, better commercial management and those results related to market share, prices, net sales, income and margins; D) expectations, plans or benefits related to changes in organizational and operational structure; E) expectations regarding competition within our market, market developments, general economic conditions and structural and legal change globally and in national and regional markets, such as China; F) our ability to integrate acquired businesses into our operations and achieve the targeted business plans and benefits, including targeted benefits, synergies, cost savings and efficiencies; G) expectations, plans or benefits related to any future collaboration or to business collaboration agreements or patent license agreements or arbitration awards, including income to be received under any collaboration or partnership, agreement or award; H) timing of the deliveries of our products and services, including our short term and longer term expectations around the rollout of 5G, investment requirements with such rollout, and our ability to capitalize on such rollout; as well as the overall readiness of the 5G ecosystem; I) expectations and targets regarding collaboration and partnering arrangements, joint ventures or the creation of joint ventures, and the related administrative, legal, regulatory and other conditions, as well as our expected customer reach; J) outcome of pending and threatened litigation, arbitration, disputes, regulatory proceedings or investigations by authorities; K) expectations regarding restructurings, investments, capital structure optimization efforts, uses of proceeds from transactions, acquisitions and divestments and our ability to achieve the financial and operational targets set in connection with any such restructurings, investments, capital structure optimization efforts, divestments and acquisitions, including our current cost savings program; L) expectations, plans or benefits related to future capital expenditures, reduction of support function costs, temporary incremental expenditures or other R&D expenditures to develop or rollout software and other new products, including 5G and increased digitalization; M) expectations regarding our customers’ future capital expenditure constraints and our ability to satisfy customer concerns; and N) statements preceded by or including “believe”, “expect”, “expectations”, “consistent”, “deliver”, “maintain”, “strengthen”, “target”, “estimate”, “plan”, “intend”, “assumption”, “focus”, “continue”, “should”, “will” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from such statements. These statements are based on management’s best assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to them. These forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon our current expectations and views of future events and developments and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Factors, including risks and uncertainties that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: 1) our strategy is subject to various risks and uncertainties and we may be unable to successfully implement our strategic plans, sustain or improve the operational and financial performance of our business groups, correctly identify or successfully pursue business opportunities or otherwise grow our business; 2) general economic and market conditions, general public health conditions (including its impact on our supply chains) and other developments in the economies where we operate, including the timeline for the deployment of 5G and our ability to successfully capitalize on that deployment ; 3) competition and our ability to effectively and profitably invest in existing and new high-quality products, services, upgrades and technologies and bring them to market in a timely manner; 4) our dependence on the development of the industries in which we operate, including the cyclicality and variability of the information technology and telecommunications industries and our own R&D capabilities and investments; 5) our dependence on a limited number of customers and large multi-year agreements, as well as external events impacting our customers including mergers and acquisitions; 6) our ability to maintain our existing sources of intellectual property-related revenue through our intellectual property, including through licensing, establishing new sources of revenue and protecting our intellectual property from infringement; 7) our ability to manage and improve our financial and operating performance, cost savings, competitiveness and synergies generally, expectations and timing around our ability to recognize any net sales and our ability to implement changes to our organizational and operational structure efficiently; 8) our global business and exposure to regulatory, political or other developments in various countries or regions, including emerging markets and the associated risks in relation to tax matters and exchange controls, among others; 9) our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits, synergies, cost savings and efficiencies of acquisitions; 10) exchange rate fluctuations, as well as hedging activities; 11) our ability to successfully realize the expectations, plans or benefits related to any future collaboration or business collaboration agreements and patent license agreements or arbitration awards, including income to be received under any collaboration, partnership, agreement or arbitration award; 12) Nokia Technologies’ ability to protect its IPR and to maintain and establish new sources of patent, brand and technology licensing income and IPR-related revenues, particularly in the smartphone market, which may not materialize as planned, 13) our dependence on IPR technologies, including those that we have developed and those that are licensed to us, and the risk of associated IPR-related legal claims, licensing costs and restrictions on use; 14) our exposure to direct and indirect regulation, including economic or trade policies, and the reliability of our governance, internal controls and compliance processes to prevent regulatory penalties in our business or in our joint ventures; 15) our reliance on third-party solutions for data storage and service distribution, which expose us to risks relating to security, regulation and cybersecurity breaches; 16) inefficiencies, breaches, malfunctions or disruptions of information technology systems, or our customers’ security concerns; 17) our exposure to various legal frameworks regulating corruption, fraud, trade policies, and other risk areas, and the possibility of proceedings or investigations that result in fines, penalties or sanctions; 18) adverse developments with respect to customer financing or extended payment terms we provide to customers; 19) the potential complex tax issues, tax disputes and tax obligations we may face in various jurisdictions, including the risk of obligations to pay additional taxes; 20) our actual or anticipated performance, among other factors, which could reduce our ability to utilize deferred tax assets; 21) our ability to retain, motivate, develop and recruit appropriately skilled employees; 22) disruptions to our manufacturing, service creation, delivery, logistics and supply chain processes, and the risks related to our geographically-concentrated production sites; 23) the impact of litigation, arbitration, agreement-related disputes or product liability allegations associated with our business; 24) our ability to re-establish investment grade rating or maintain our credit ratings; 25) our ability to achieve targeted benefits from, or successfully implement planned transactions, as well as the liabilities related thereto; 26) our involvement in joint ventures and jointly-managed companies; 27) the carrying amount of our goodwill may not be recoverable; 28) uncertainty related to the amount of dividends and equity return we are able to distribute to shareholders for each financial period; 29) pension costs, employee fund-related costs, and healthcare costs; 30) our ability to successfully complete and capitalize on our order backlogs and continue converting our sales pipeline into net sales; 31) risks related to undersea infrastructure; and 32) the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the global economy and financial markets as well as our customers, supply chain, product development, service delivery, other operations and our financial, tax, pension and other assets, as well as the risk factors specified in our 2019 annual report on Form 20-F published on March 5, 2020 under “Operating and financial review and prospects-Risk factors” as supplemented by the form 6-K published on April 30, 2020 under the header “Risk Factors” and in our other filings or documents furnished with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Other unknown or unpredictable factors or underlying assumptions subsequently proven to be incorrect could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.


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